Revenge of the Command Line

April 26, 2005

One thing I picked up out of the latest Backpack preview was the return of the command line. Instead of being presented with six dropdowns to set a date and time, Backpack will allow you to enter in any format you want. Users don't grok operating system command lines, because they don't know the commands.

But, if they're well versed in English, they'll know the commands to set a due date for an item. This is in stark contrast to the belief that all user data should be strictly validated and entered in the exact format the system needs. "You'll put that phone number in the (000) 000-0000 format and like it, understand?"

Still, Google is the master of command lines. You can search for Starbucks in Boerne, get some help with your math homework, and find the answer to life, the universe, and everything.